|This was another one of my Scotland Treks. The weather was mostly very good indeed. I managed to get sunburnt yet again (not deliberately though) and only had the 2 * 1/2 days of rain whilst much of England was apparently under water. Indeed, I managed to miss the whole event and did not even know about the flooding until my brother managed to make contact with me suggesting that we may need to go home to check on our home! We didn't.|
We had arranged to me Niek (SunToucher) in Glencoe on the Sunday morning which meant getting to Glasgow for the evening (anyone knowing the English motorways will know that driving the entire length of England and part way up Scotland in one day is an entirely hit and miss affair with the roads and is not a guarenteed event until you have arrived) and then up onto Rannoch Moor and Glencoe for the following morning... That was the plan, but we had totally failed to take into account the Scottish Open (Golf) Championship on Loch Lomond and the traffic and chaos that that event creates on the A82 up on the Loch Lomond shore.
Sunday and Monday was spent showing Niek around the areas of Scotland I know so well. Sunday started off very well and was lovely and calm with superb reflections and sunshine. It clouded over in the late evening and rained later that night quite heavily. Monday continued wet in the morning, but cleared enough for me to take a dry tent over to Aviemore. We did managed to get a few shots in later in the walk and I took one or two at Loch Dochard in the rain to 'play' with in B&W.
2 nights at Aviemore for a 5am start challenged even me as an early riser for a wildlife (mostly staying hidden) and photography tour of the Cairngorms. The weather started out really misty which lead to some challenging shots early on (before breakfast) and then improved considerably. Red Squirrels (rare in the UK), Red Grouse and Ospreys were amongst the list of wildlife seen.
After that we went North leaving Niek to the last few days of his holiday. The day we left him, we saw 4 Golden Eagles (2 adults and 2 fledged young). The weather was very good as we made our way up to Sutherland and onto a small campsite at Shegra to enjoy the afternoon and evening sunshine. It was cold but clear that night.
The following day we set off for a 2 day walk onto the Cape Wrath area, camping wild. The weather was stunning for sunbathing, but not very good for a coastal walk where the path follows the cliff edge for its entire route. Both of us caught the sun over those 2 days, but had a really good time and enjoyed it enormously.
After 3 nights in the Cape Wrath area, we left the sunshine behind and went even further north to the Orkney Islands. I have never been before and was at first sorry to leave the good weather and Cape Wrath behind, but I need not have worried... my luck held as usual.
We had 2 nights on the Orkney Island called Mainland seeing many of the archaeological sights that are throughout the Orkneys, before leaving there and moving onto the Island of Westray for 3 nights. Good weather continued during the daytimes and another good hike was had, with plenty of landscapes and bird shots had.
A day trip to Papa Westray one of the more northerly islands and one that is known for its seabird colony's saw another of our walks and the finding of the Scottish Primrose (a very rare wild flower) gave a great day outing, though somewhat wet in the afternoon (only the 2nd time we needed our waterproofs on this holiday)....
Our final day on the Orkney Mainland saw another glorious day with a stunning sunset to follow and leaving us with many great memories and definite plans to return.
Incidently, I seem to have brought the dry weather home with me... Scotland has rain again and England is dry(er). Some 2000 miles have gone onto the car, some 1500 photos taken and some great memories to be remembered have marked a great holiday.